If you have ever had the opportunity to attend one of Dance Magic’s year end recitals, you know that rather than recognizing “Most Improved” or “Most Likely to Succeed”, we celebrate our dancers dedication to dance and to our studio. We believe every one of our students is likely to succeed and that our list of most improved is so long it would put even the most captivated of audiences to sleep. However, milestones like 5, 10, 15 and even 20 years at the studio, on the other hand, is something we seriously make a fuss over.

When Christine asked me to catch up with 3 very special members of our Dance Magic family so that I could feature them in an upcoming blog post, I was thrilled and more than up for the task. This year marks 15 years with Dance Magic for Natalie Warren, Kimberley Cole, and Mia William or as she is better known to many of us, our beloved “Miss Mia”.

Before I go on, I just want to take a minute to assist you in wrapping your mind around what 15 years of doing ANYTHING looks like. According to Forbes.com’s most recent research, the average length of time that an individual will spend at a single job is 4.4 years. That is 10.6 years LESS than these girls have spent at our studio. If that doesn’t spell COMMITMENT, I don’t know what does. Or, we could look at it this way. According to my rough calculations, Natalie and Kimberly have probably spent around 720 hours EACH at the studio in the last 15 years and Miss Mia has spent about (oops,  my calculator just broke because the number was so big… let me grab a new one)…. give or take an hour here or there, about 18,848 hours at Dance Magic!!!

Is it beginning to register how huge of a milestone this is?

I digress.

Anyways, this past week I caught up with all three dancers and conducted a way-too-much-fun 3 part interview: a “Flash” round, a “This or That” round, and finally, a section I call, “The Gushy Stuff”. Read on to learn a little more about these 3 amazing women’s adventures over the past 15 years at Dance Magic.

Natalie Warren

Natalie Warren

Part 1: Flash Round

Rules: I say a word and you say the VERY first thing that comes to your mind.

I say you say

Miss Mia Williams

Miss Mia Williams

Part 2: This or That 

Rules: Pick the best of the 2 provided options.

This or that


Kimberley Cole

Part 3: The Gushy Stuff

1) Take a moment to share with us your Dance Magic “Firsts”. Where did this incredible journey begin?

Natalie –  My very first teacher at Dance Magic was Miss Val. I was 3 years old and my first class was at the Family of Faith Church.

Mia – My journey with Dance Magic started when I was 10 years old. I actually started dancing at another studio when I was really young and knew right away that I didn’t like it. So, I spent my childhood trying out different kinds of sports and eventually fell in love with basketball. Meanwhile, my younger sister, Anna, began dancing at Dance Magic and unlike me, really found herself enjoying dance. One year when I was ten, my family was on vacation during basketball tryouts so I couldn’t play that year. Since I had been spending so much time at the studio with my sister, I thought I might as well give dance another shot.  Miss Val was my first teacher and I instantly fell in love with everything Dance Magic.

My first costume was this hilarious velvet suit with bell bottom pants and a bra top.

Kimberley– I was 4 when I started dancing at Dance Magic. I think my teacher was Miss Jen and I remember wearing this bright pink costume with black tights. Oh, and I remember our hair… we all had HUGE hair!

2) What is your earliest memory of dance class?  

Natalie – I remember Miss. Val teaching us how to skip in a circle and not run into the dancer in front of us. Oh, and I remember being really excited that I got to wear a pink tutu!

Mia – I remember Miss. Val teaching us how to turn a “step-together-step-dig”. She used this little trick where she got us all to imagine that we were shining a flashlight down a tunnel so that we would turn the right way. 15 years later, I teach my dancers the very same trick… it works like a charm!

Kimberley – My earliest memory is from my second year of classes. I was in a tap class and there was this part in our dance where we had to lay on our stomachs and prop ourselves up on our elbows and all kick our legs at the same time. It was my favorite part of the whole dance.

3) How does dancing/working at Dance Magic make you feel?

Natalie – Happy. It’s an environment that is so welcoming and everyone is so cheerful. It is the kind of studio where even when you can’t get a dance move right away, no one comes down on you. Instead, they build you up and give you pointers on how you might be able to try something different to get it next time. If I had to choose one word, I think I would say, Dance Magic makes me feel comfortable.

Mia – Happy. I don’t think many people truly love their job. I truly love coming to work everyday. I love the kids. I love the parents. I love all the people I get to work with. Everyone is just so positive. How can you not feel happy at a place like that?

Kimberley – Dancing at Dance Magic makes me feel alive. I just love everyone there, especially all the teachers. I have been through some pretty rough times over the years, and I have always felt so supported by them.

4) What is the one thing you would miss the most if you could never dance again?

Natalie – I would miss the way you feel the instant you get of stage, when you look around at everyone and you are like, “Wow, we did it!”. In that moment, you feel like such a team. It’s like this moment where you feel like you can do anything as long as you are doing it together.

Mia – If I could never dance again, I would definitely miss having a creative outlet.

Kimberley– That’s really hard. There is a lot I would miss. But, I think I would miss the rush of adrenaline that dancing gives me the most.

5) Have you ever wanted to quit? Why didn’t you?

Natalie – Ya, I did actually. I always promised myself I would make it to 5 years and then decide from there if I wanted to keep dancing. I made it to 5 years and 2 of my really close friends quit so I decided I would too. I shared my decision with my parents, and they asked me if I wanted to quit because I didn’t like dancing or if it was because my friends quit. I thought about it and it was just because of my friends. They said, “You know you can make other friends, right?”. It was like a light bulb went off. Ya! Of course I could make other friends. And I did. And now, some of the best friends I have are friends I have made at dance.

Mia – No, never. It hasn’t ever crossed my mind.

Kimberley – Not really. It never really even felt like an option because dance is such a huge part of my life.

6) What has been your biggest challenge? Have you overcome it? If so, how? 

Natalie – I thought last year was going to be my last year dancing because I had plans to travel for part of this year. It was really hard for me knowing that a lot of my friends would still be dancing and that I would be giving it up. I pictured myself going to the show and seeing everyone up there and the thought of not being up there with them was so hard. Luckily, thanks to Miss Robin, I got the go ahead to dance again this year, even though I missed out on the first few months.

Mia – As a dancer, my biggest challenge is picking up choreography at a fast pace. Once I am able to drill the choreo into my brain, I’ve got it for good, but conventions and auditions have always been a challenge for me for that reason. The best way I know how to work with that challenge is just to practice, practice, practice…. and be careful not to miss dance class so I don’t have extra weeks of choreography to catch up on!

As a teacher, I struggle to find that perfect level where all my students are challenged, but not overwhelmed. With so many levels and unique dancers in a class, you just need to work to make sure what you are doing is creative enough to keep everyone interested and having fun.

Kimberley – In December of 2009, I was in a car accident and sustained some injuries which I was told might never heal properly. That year, I sat out of dance class for 4 months but kept working towards being able to dance again. It was really painful at times, and I needed a lot of extra help from Miss Robin, but eventually I worked through the injuries and got caught up on the choreography and had a really great show that year.

7) How has dance changed you?

Natalie–  Dance has made me more confident. No matter what situation I find myself in, I just come back to what we have always been taught, “Shoulders back, stand up tall, smile!”. I can walk into any room and even if I feel a bit nervous, I just come back to those words and suddenly I feel like I belong.

Mia – Well, that’s kind of like asking me who I would be if my mother didn’t give birth to me! I just wouldn’t be me.  I don’t think anything about my life would be what it is today without dance. I don’t know where I would be without all the support I get from Miss Christine and everything I have learned from my teachers over the years. My life is dance, and dance is my life.

Kimberley – Dance keeps me positive. It floods happiness into my life. Whenever I find myself struggling with hardships and stress, dance is my cure.

8) Dream, Believe, Achieve! What has been your biggest achievement?

Natalie- Making the senior jazz class.

Mia- Having worked my dream job for 10 years by the time I was 25 years old.

Kimberley –  Making it into senior hip hop.

9) Why Dance Magic?

Natalie –  I love the recreational side of Dance Magic. I didn’t want to be missing school for dance, or for dance to take over my life. Dance Magic provides me with balance. Also, it seems like no matter what, there is always a class that is right for me. They look at your individual situation and place you in the best possible class. Once I was old enough to choose if I wanted to continue dancing at another studio, leaving Dance Magic wasn’t an option. Dance Magic is family. You don’t just wake up one morning and get to choose new parents, so how could I ever choose another studio?

Mia -I don’t think I would love what I do as much if I worked in a competitive environment. Dance Magic is easy to be passionate about because it is family.

Kimberley – I love Dance Magic and have stayed so long because of all the friends I have made and because of the teachers. I feel such a strong connection with the Dance Magic teachers. They don’t just teach you, they are actually there for you.


Well, there you have it folks. It’s been incredible getting to know these amazing people a little better this week. I hope you have enjoyed a sneak peak into their journey as well. Without the loyalty and commitment of dancers just like these 3, Dance Magic wouldn’t be Dance Magic. As we embark on our 2015 show week, Natalie, Mia, and Kimberley serve as strong reminders that under all the glitter and gold is a group of people who are all fueled by their love of dance and who all contribute to the beautiful family that is Dance Magic.

We are looking forward to seeing you all during show week. For reminders about Takes or any other last minute questions you may have, visit our website at www.reddeerdancemagic.com.